DIY Projects
Nov 26, 2008

How to: Sew a knife-edge cushion

By: Gail Leger
Style at Home
DIY Projects
Nov 26, 2008

How to: Sew a knife-edge cushion

By: Gail Leger

"Some of the best fun in decorating is creating a great cushion scheme to add personality, luxurious comfort and oh-so-much style to a room," says design editor Christine Hanlon, whose Decorator's Notebook column launched in the April 2009 issue of Style at Home. Christine collaborated with seamstress Gail Leger of The Sewing Studio in Toronto to create the coordinated cushions featured. Here, Gail provides instructions for the basic knife-edge cushion (with optional trim) in photo.

KNIFE-EDGE CUSHION COVER
Supplies
Fabric (see Step 2 to determine amount required)
Square or rectangular pillow form
Matching thread
Dressmaker's chalk pencil, set square and ruler

Instructions
NOTES

Use 15 mm (5/8 in) seam allowance throughout, unless otherwise indicated.
When sewing cover front to back, backstitch at beginning and end of stitching.
Leave machine needle in fabric when pivoting at corners.

1 In washer and dryer, preshrink fabric; press.
 
2 Measure pillow form, then add 3 cm (1-1/4 in) to each dimension, for total width and length. Using chalk pencil, set square and ruler, measure and mark cover front and back on fabric, each total width x total length (Tip: If using patterned fabric, ensure pattern on front aligns at edges with pattern on back as best you can). Cut out along chalk lines. Serge or machine-zigzag raw edges, to prevent fraying.

3 With right sides together and edges even, pin front to back. Beginning 5 cm (2 in) from 1 corner on bottom edge, stitch to closest corner, then around side, top and side edges to remaining bottom corner, then stitch 5 cm along bottom edge. Clip across seam allowance at corners. Turn right side out. Press edges; press under 13 mm (1/2 in) around opening.
 
4 Insert pillow form; slipstitch opening closed.

Designer's tips

To make washable cover:
Complete Step 3. Using zipper foot, sew matching zipper into opening. Insert pillow form and zip cover closed.

cushion-closeup.jpg To add decorative trim (as shown in photo):
Complete Step 2. Lay cover front, right side up, on work surface. Using chalk pencil, set square and ruler, measure and mark placement line for outside edge of braid, ensuring line is at least 5 cm (2 in) inside edges of front. Pinning perpendicular to braid edges and beginning with first end of braid at midpoint of cover bottom, pin braid in place, right side up and mitring corners as you work (at each corner, make diagonal fold in braid from outside to inside corner, tucking extra braid under fold); cut second end of braid 1.5 cm (5/8 in) beyond first, then turn under 6 mm (1/4 in), and overlap and pin to first (raw) end. Edgestitch along outside and inside edges of braid. Pull each pair of thread ends through to wrong side of front; tie with overhand knots and trim. If desired, slipstitch overlaps in place, at braid end and mitred corners. Complete steps 3 and 4.

To add purchased piping:
Complete Step 2. Lay cover front, right side up, on work surface. Beginning partway along bottom edge of front, and with raw edges of piping even with edges of front, pin piping to front all around; overlap piping ends, then curve each up into seam allowance, trim even with edge of cover and pin in place. Using zipper foot and 13 mm (1/2 in) seam allowance, baste piping to front. Using zipper foot and 15 mm (5/8 in) seam allowance, complete Step 3. Complete Step 4.

To add purchased fringe:
Complete Step 2. Lay cover front, right side up, on work surface. Beginning partway along bottom edge of front, and with bound edge of fringe even with edges of front, pin fringe to front all around; overlap fringe ends, then curve up into seam allowance, trim even with edge of cover and pin in place. Using 13 mm (1/2 in) seam allowance, baste fringe to front. Using 15 mm (5/8 in) seam allowance, complete Step 3. Complete Step 4.

Good luck, have fun and remember that making mistakes is the best way to learn.

 
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DIY Projects

How to: Sew a knife-edge cushion